Saturday, May 29, 2010


i'm feeling the cold sting of guilt from my blog neglect this morning. my vida loca has gotten even loca-ier lately. my brother is visiting from iraq, my efforts to extend my kazakhstan visa fell through, i thought i was about to leave taraz possibly for forever and so i scheduled all these last minute social engagements, before my plans changed and now i'm just leaving for a relatively short time.

so as it stands, i become an illegal alien at the stroke of midnight when june 1st becomes june 2nd. so i'm running to dubai on the evening of june 1st, where i plan to apply for a new kaz visa to come back ASAP. but alas, this being taraz, AP is not all that S. there are no international flights from this town, so i need to go to almaty. which means a 10 hour train ride this evening, followed by a one day layover in the apple city before i can fly out of here just five hours before my visa expires.

unless i've calculated wrong. man, that would be a bummer. if my visa says it expires on june 1st that means i am still permitted to be in the country on june 1st and i won't become illegal until the 2nd, right? in any case, i guess i'll find out soon!

i'll be in dubai for only a few days, inshallah. for a long time i've wanted to see that city. at the same time, i didn't think it would be my kind of place. so a few days might be just enough time for me. it's sort of like las vegas. for years i wanted to see it, then i did for a long weekend and now i never have to go back. a few days may be all i need to satisfy my curiosity.

plus, i've traveled a bit in the arab world but i've never experienced the super-wealthy/opulent side of arab culture. all the arab lands i've seen so far (tunisia, egypt, syria, lebanon, and the west bank) were pretty poor and struggling (well, except beirut). aside from some gulfi tourists i met in syria and lebanon, i have little experience with the wealthy persian gulf end of arab culture.

and so starting tonight i'm hitting the road. it's strange because for more than five months i have not spent the night anywhere outside of this tiny provincial city. in fact, most of my life here is confined to a 6 block radius from where i stay. it's a very small life. i'm going pretty crazy after being here this long. it will be good to get away, even though it means leaving the two people who i care the most about in the world behind.